Thursday, May 4, 2017

Victorian Slum House and Transplanting



I tried to imagine living as they did in a Victorian slum house. If you saw the beginning on Tuesday, I’m sure you were appalled at the filth, their room(s), their clothes, and their skin! Somehow, I didn’t see the producers adding a few of the other things that were so common back then. I’m talking about lice, bedbugs, and the like. I also didn’t see any spider webs ... or rats ... or those wonderful, ever-present cockroaches. I suppose they had to draw the line somewhere. Perhaps they will show up, who knows.

If I were younger, by 20 years or more, I would have been game to do this. After all, I have lived from pheasant to feathers for a lot of my life.  When we went back to the land, our family of six lived in a shanty with a dirt floor for nearly a year. I believe we would have loved any one of the rooms on Slum House for its spaciousness and comfort. Privies? I have used more than my share.

When I see one of their Houses, I think, they ought to do a series on going back to the land on a dwindling budget in today’s world. Life in poverty is hard. I know there are places in the world where it’s a life and death struggle to stay alive and keep your children fed. I would be ignorant if I said my life was worse. It just felt like it at the time. Let’s just say I’m stubborn and I wanted to make a go of it, no matter what. I could have gone back with my tail between my legs to the comfort of hot water and flush toilets.

I was a little confused about the new people. Didn’t any of them bring a kettle or anything to cook with, besides the couple with the store? That’s pretty basic. I didn’t see what all they had, but a kettle to make fish head soup or boil potatoes would be one of the first things I’d take. They had to be cooking sometime during their journey to London.

I don’t understand their money system. English money is confusing. The one guy got 10pounds for a full day of back breaking work. That’s like $12.94 for the day. The 1860’s day? Today’s day? Sounds like too much, and then again, it sounds like not enough. Maybe someone could help me out with this.

I must have missed some stuff and will have to watch it again. Did they have a made-up back story? Are they immigrants or refugees? Where did these characters live before they ended up at the slum house?



I’m currently watching Lark Rise to Candleford – an episode at a time. (on Amazon Prime) I guess it’s supposed to be in a later time frame, maybe. Mr. Timmons had to be a common laborer picking rock in a field when someone stole his tools. He made 5 Shillings for the day. Like I say, English money is confusing to me and prorating for the time difference makes me a little nuts.



For those of you who are not into historical housing re-enactment: I transplanted the squash to a popcorn tin yesterday (not having a large enough pot for it) and so far, it doesn’t seem to be suffering. I am not going to subject it to the next couple days of the forecast chill, wind, and rain. DH can take it outside for me and I’ll add some more dirt. My floor in here looks like a nursery from the spilled dirt. I look at that squash and wish so hard that I had the energy to plant a big garden out in the yard, I’d love to see squash, and gourds sprawling all over!
        Have a great day, night, whatever!    

24 comments:

  1. I think I'm going to love the series. Regarding your question about them having made-up back stories, no not. They did have slight back stories but it was covered in a sentence of two for each family.

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  2. I haven't seen this series though I've seen a bunch of the others like it---The Victorian House, The Regency House, WWII House. I liked Lark Rise to Candleford and liked the book better.

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    1. I guess they are giving varied times for viewing it a second time. I'd love to see the others! :-)

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  3. I haven't watched any of the programs you mentioned, but just thinking of genealogy I have done the conditions our ancestors lived through as normal, our kids would not be able to handle now, even harder than figuring out English money I don't think any of them could make it without a cell phone.

    I think the squash will be much happier now, looks good

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    1. I don't know a young person who could live under the conditions that our parents or grandparents had - not sure they could make it through childhoods like ours.
      I am very happy how the squash plant is doing. (I can just imagine how people talk about me and my blog. "You wouldn't believe this old woman, acts like growing a plant is so wonderful. Jeez ... Get a grip, lady.)

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  4. I haven't heard of that series. Sound very interesting.
    I often say people today just don't know how to be poor. They think they're poor but they are so not
    Everyone needs to know how to do basic cooking and omg just because your poor doesn't mean you have to be dirty.
    A cheap broom and you can do all the cobwebs and floors and there is such a thing as hand washing l
    A couple tagged themselves at a drycleaners because there dryer wasn't working.
    Seriously. Hang a string under the back porch and hang them there you can also dry clothes in front of fires dropped over chairs if you have too

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    1. I agree completely, most people who think they are poor, haven't got a clue. I didn't always have a dryer, heck, sometimes I didn't have a washer!

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    2. Two main reasons for people being dirty: a) ignorance b) soap or water was sometimes hard to come by, with many slum buildings divided into tiny flats with only one tap in the backyard and one privy, also in the yard.

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    3. That's what I thought - even without soap, they had to have water!

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  5. I lived in some ugly places when I was first married to try to save money to buy a house. When we had $4,000 saved we found a sturdy house but ugly. We bought it and fixed one thing at a time. Not ever going into debt to do it. When I moved out here I sold it for $35,000 and it looked pretty nice.

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    1. That's the way to do it alright! Good on you! So many people want the best right away and go deep in debt. Tsk, tsk. :-)

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  6. In the 1860's I'd say that 10 pounds was probably a year's pay for those working and living in slums. If the novels I've read are to be believed, they earned just a few pence at a time, and that only if work was available. Ten pounds would have been untold riches.

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    1. That's what I thought, but if it was equivalent to today's money, that wouldn't be near enough. I know I wouldn't work a full day for that, not with a sledge hammer!

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  7. Have heard of historical housing re-enactment programs, but have never watched them. I suppose I am too weak, to do so. I grew up with, and lived our married life, with the motto of, "Pay as you go, or don't go" but have never done a real homesteading. So.... I am weak, in that way.

    No real gardening here, any more. Just some flowers. As my husband got older, the food gardening shrank. Which is fine with me. He simply does not have the stamina, he once did. But it has been like "pulling teeth," to have him realize it!!!!!!! ,-)

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    1. Not everybody is cut from the same cloth, it doesn't mean you're weak. We are all different and that's all good. :-)

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  8. I wonder if those re-enactors on Slum House get to go home or to a hotel at the end of a day of filming.

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    1. No, according to the show, they live there for the duration of the show. Looks like fun, maybe. ;-)

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  9. I love Larkrise to Candleford. One of my all time favorite shows. Have you watched Inspector Lewis? I missed most of it when it was on PBS so I have watched it on Amazon Prime. The city of Oxford where it takes place is prominently featured and it is a treasure. I also enjoyed Endeavour. I didn't see the other show, but no regular worker made even one pound for a day's work. More like one shilling back in the day. Mr. Timmins I think made 5 shillings for the week for the fieldwork. And more at his regular work because he was a craftsman. You will love the show when they get to the new maid in the post office. She is so funny.

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    1. Yes, I have seen some Inspector Lewis and some Endeavour. Both are great shows. I will have to catch them where I can or I would have a habit as bad as drugs. I did buy Doc Martin, both Poldarks, and Downton Abbey. It gets a bit pricey. I'm watching Lark Rise to Candleford a bit at a time on Amazon and it's killing me, but I'm afraid my internet will shut down altogether if I watched like I do the DVDs. :-) The maid? Do you mean the little gal who played Poldark's cousin? She is the most lovable screw-up! Oh, if I could win a lottery or something! ;-)

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  10. I love historicle stuff but as you point out they cut the reality of lice etc. And your indoor mini garden looks very happy. Enjoy what you can.

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  11. £10 for a day's work in Victorian times? Sounds unlikely.

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    1. That's what I thought, but today even? I wouldn't.

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